Las Vegas - The stage is set for the opening of the 2003 International CES here on Thursday with 2,000 exhibitors and almost 100,000 attendees poised to flood the city this week.
Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO, called this year's CES the largest in the event's 36-year history.
The show floor will open Thursday morning, but Microsoft founder Bill Gates will set the tone for the festivities Wednesday night with his annual keynote address. Gates speech will follow a day of press conferences that is expected to see most of the major corporations, including Sony, Thomson, Philips, Panasonic and Zenith, unveil their CES offerings. Shapiro, Kathy Gornik, CEA chairman and CEO of Thiel Audio, and Sony's President and COO Ando Kunitake will make the Thursday morning keynote address.
Intel CEO Craig Barrett will close out the first day with another keynote and Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers, is scheduled to make the first of the Industry Insider presentations Thursday afternoon.
Check back to twice.com for CES news updates.
In addition to the regular booths the show will contain 25 technology pavilions that will showcase Bluetooth wireless networking, MP3 audio, broadband Internet access and imaging technology.
Like last year's edition, the 2003 CES will utilize all three of the Las Vegas Convention Center halls
A large contingent of federal officials, including Senator John Ensign (R-NV), 12 members of the House of Representatives, FCC Chairman Michael Powell, FTC commissioners Sheila Foster Anthony and Mozelle Thompson and EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman will attend to discus the regulatory issues facing the CE industry.